Category Archives: Brazil

Marshal Podcast #MarshalPodcast #MarshalChat

I am looking for a few volunteers to help me with a Marshal Podcast project I’d like to introduce to the marshaling community.

There were a number of positive responses to the thought I shared on the Flag Marshals of the World facebook group, but to make it happen I need a couple of people that would actually engage in conversation with me about various topics as they relate to volunteering in Motorsport through video chat.

Google Hangouts seems like a reasonable technology that we could use, to set up a meetup and record our conversation that would automatically be posted to YouTube.

From that I would also like to create downloadable audio files that people could sync onto their smart phones and listen to their leisure without draining their bandwidth or cellular data.

The way I envision the format of this #MarshalPodcast is to have three (3) to five (5) people call in and talk about up to three (3) pre-determined topics. The discussion would not be scripted in any other way than having introduced the topics in advance so the participants could think about what they would like to say before actually talking about it during the podcast.

The topics I would like to talk about could range from “how do you participate at a certain event” to “what was your experience at a particular event” or “what do you think about this safety feature when marshaling” etc.

I would imagine that participants would change from episode to episode, so that would keep the discussion nice and fresh. The discussion would certainly be open to everyone, so it would be nice to see various international marshals from around the world. As well as people that make guest appearances to discuss a particular event, or to invite marshals through the podcast to participate at the event they are affiliated with.

Participant introductions. Background stories, unique experiences, and other banter would keep the podcast interesting. And I think it could easily be used to promote marshaling to Motorsport enthusiasts that didn’t know this activity was possible.

If anyone would like to join this podcast please reply below or contact me through facebook to organize our next episode. Topic ideas and material is always welcome. I have a feeling we would rely heavily on the Flag Marshals of the World facebook group for content and subjects to discuss. Even doing a digest of things posted on the group would easily fill up a 30 to 60 minute format of the podcast. Anything longer than that would be way too long.

Ideas?

 

Visit Flag Marshals of the World facebook group: click here.

Jim Swintal Motorsports | jimswintal.com

Many of the marshals reading this blog already know Jim. If you’ve volunteered any of the major events in the US including Formula 1, IndyCar, IMSA Tudor United SportsCar or American Le Mans Series before that, you’ve heard him on the radio from Race Control. Some may remember Jim from his chief starter days with Champ Car / CART, as this Motorsport.com article captions he was “CART’s most visible official outside of CEO…” But besides being an accomplished marshal he’s also an amazing artist with a focus on motorsports and that’s what I wanted to share with everyone reading this regardless where you are in the world.

Check out that art work:

jim swintal motorsports poster 1Notice the attention to detail on this Laguna Seca “Corkscrew” print, with the detailed portrayal of the marshals working the turn.

jim swintal motorsports poster 2jim swintal motorsports poster 3

You can buy copies of his paintings as Lithographs and Posters, or Giclées Prints that are very reasonably priced through his web site:

http://www.jimswintal.com/

 

Of all the personalities I’ve met in this hobby, I have genuine admiration and respect for Jim. I really look up to him as a cool, calm and collected voice on a network when all hell is breaking loose or we’re dying of boredom on the track. And though we’ve never really communicated directly, he seems really down to earth at all the events that I’ve had the pleasure of working with him, from races at Laguna Seca in California to COTA in Texas and Sebring in Florida.

Marshal Log Book Project: #MarshalLogBook

It’s been a while since I had my log book signed.

Oh you’ve never heard of a log book? Well, marshals around the world record their event participation in a little book which they bring to the track to get signed each weekend by their flag chief or post chief, to validate that they indeed volunteered the event.

You may have tinkered with the idea on the SCCA web site if you volunteer in the US and are a member of the club. Because you get a worker incentive for participating in club events. Work 12 cumulative days and get $45 discount on your membership renewal. Work 8 days get $30 bucks credit, etc. But what about those pro events you worked? Nobody cares right? Wrong!

Registering for events thru DLBracing.com or Motorsportreg.com keeps track (a historic record) of events you signed up to work through those web sites. But again there’s no One/central database of all the events you volunteered: pro, club, international, etc.

It’s time to create a new Digital Marshal Log Book… I’ve been a long time user of several flight tracking databases like ba97 and OpenFlights for years, and there’s no reason such a simple solution can’t be used to quickly and conveniently keep track of all my Motorsport volunteering. Of course automating this process is a little beyond my programming skills so I’ll definitely need some help from the readers of this blog. But I have put together some samples manually, and the results are stunning!

So the simple list view of my Motorsport volunteering is:

marshal log book list Google Docs list: click here.

But here’s the cool part… the Analytics! You want to know the stats of Circuits by Days I spent at each event? I do:

circuits by day Google Docs: click here. The pie chart is interactive. Go ahead and play with it! Interestingly 7.7% (18 days) of all of my days spend at the race track happened at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut and at Hampton Downs in New Zealand. 6.4% (15 days) at Circuit of the Americas, and 6% (14 days) at Watkins Glen International.

How about Circuits by Frequency of returning to that track:

circuits frequency Google Docs: click here. Looking at these stats 10.6% (9 times) of all the time I returned to a particular circuit, it just happened to be to Lime Rock Park – my home track in the US. 7.1% (6 times) to Hampton Downs my former home track in New Zealand and to Watkins Glen International in New York. 5.9% (5 times) to both Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Summit Point in West Virginia. Quite a different perspective considering most events at Lime Rock are 2 day events, while the rest of the world it’s typically 3 days because there is no racing in Connecticut on Sundays.

How about Country stats by Days worked? Let’s see:

country by days Google Docs: click here. It turns out more than half of all the time (123 days out of 234 days total) I spent trackside, happened right here in America! (‘murica!) 15.2% (35 days) in New Zealand which is an amazing number considering I only spent less than half a year there and have been marshaling in the US for over three years now. And 7.4% (17 days) spent in Australia, which is cheeky because most of that came from the one month long trip I made down there in 2013 where I did something like six back to back events in a row.

How about Country by Frequency of participation:

country frequency Google Docs: click here. Number of times in the country correlates to the number of days on track. 56.5% (48 times) of all the events I’ve marshaled were in the US. 15.3% (13 times) in New Zealand. 7.1% (6 times) in Australia. 5.9% (5 times) in Canada. 3.5% (3 times) both in Malaysia and Singapore. Go ahead play with the interactive charts by following the Google Docs links, and see all the other stats.

I am working on integrating Circuits and participation onto Google Maps, but it’s a slightly more complicated process here are samples:

map countries

If you have any suggestions for creating fancy stats please share in the comments below and I’ll be happy to post them. More importantly if you’re really good at writing Google Docs Scripts I’d love to get some help in creating a usable Form and subsequent database that I will make available to all the marshals around the world. It’d be amazing to see people’s stats from Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, France, the Netherlands, the rest of Europe, Asia, the Pacific and of course the Americas.

Remember to use #MarshalLogBook on Twitter and Facebook to spread the word. And like the new facebook page I created just for this project:  facebook.com/pages/Marshal-Log-Book/910500628968577

Obrigado Brasil!

To celebrate the 300th post on the Grand Prix Road Trip blog, I would like to thank a significant group of visitors and readers to this site from a country that I have never visited before: Brazil. However, the will to be not just a tourist to this amazing South American country but to also volunteer alongside the great Brazilians colleagues I’ve already worked with in the US and Europe is great. It will be a dream come true and one that I hope happens soon.

Brazilian Motorsport enthusiasts have also been one of the most frequent visitors to my Motorsport Tourism pages which gives me hope there are potential customers out there willing to use my expertise and experience to help them plan their automotive adventures to countries I am familiar with, where I have already volunteered. Brazilian tourists are easily spotted just about anywhere in the world I’ve been, not just by the bright colors of the national flag, but also with their hardcore dedication to their national hero Ayrton Senna. I am tremendously impressed with this phenomenon and am seriously looking forward to experiencing this in person the first time I visit Interlagos, or any one of the many other Brazilian circuits.

So… Obrigado! Thank you! to all my Brazilian friends out there and know that your country is high on my “Wishlist” of places to visit and volunteer as a Motorsport Marshal and enthusiast 🙂

PS. I have to mention a friend of a friend I had the pleasure of meeting in New Zealand when I lived there briefly who had a whole shrine dedicated to Ayrton Senna in his apartment. Helmets, replica mementos, die cast cars, posters… etc. from Ayrton’s career. Many of which acquired during races he attended personally around the world, gave me chills when listening to the admiration this man had to the famous driver. Motorsport needs more fans like this!

The other reason I’d go to Brazil is to fly Azul, an airline launched by the founder of one of my favorite airlines in the US: JetBlue

Avião-AzulPhoto credit: Ayrton Senna Sempre web site:  www.ayrtonsenna.com.br/en/ayrton-senna-sempre/

 

Motorsport Marshal Spotter Guide

For those of you that enjoy sports car racing as much as I do, you will no doubt be familiar with Andy Blackmore Design & Spotter Guides and his excellent Le Mans, WEC and ALMS/Tudor SportsCar prototype/GT as well as the occasional DTM, F1 and other racing series spotter guides. I enjoy them so much, I make sure to get one of the freebie ones that are put in each station’s “book” from every event I marshal. The collection is growing.

I liked the idea of the spotter guides so much I created a Motorsport Marshal Spotter Guide with help from Andy Blackmore, who generously provided an excellent template, as well as fellow marshals that posted reference photos on Ten-Tenths Marshal Forums and Flag Marshals of the World Facebook Group.

A sample of the resulting spotter guide is here:

asia sample

Lots of Sparco suits used in South and Southeast Asia, for most marshal specialties except for actual flaggers/track marshals. international marshal spotter guide

Of course there are about a hundred more that I will add while I’m not trackside (read: at work). So stay tuned for updates. I think this is wonderful recognition for people that are meant to be invisible when you go to a racing event. Unless of course something happens. Now you can easily recognize which marshal comes from where when you see them at an event or on TV.

Please share any unique finds (including TV race screen shots) of marshals that I don’t have on the spotter guide and I’ll be adding them to the growing list.

Many thanks!

marshal-cam-spotter-guide

#MarshalSpotterGuide

I have created a permanent page on this site devoted to the International Motorsport Marshals Spotter Guide (click here) The spotter guide will also be used on various facebook groups as well as on Ten-Tenth’s forum and MarshalsGuide.com wiki.

MarshalCam.com Launched

We did it!

MarshalCam.com has been registered and launched! I’m pretty excited with the fact that so many marshals are participating in the project. Especially, it is humbling to see the global reach and acceptance of the simple concept behind the idea of promoting volunteering in motorsport to the general public (and by general public I mostly mean automotive and motorsport enthusiasts).

marshal cam

Our YouTube channel is kicking ass… but we are most active on the Facebook page and the Twitter tweeter. Most impressively (and somewhat shocking) is that I was able to register “Marshal Cam” brand with all the big players including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Like: www.facebook.com/MarshalCam #MarshalCam

Follow: www.twitter.com/MarshalCam @MarshalCam #MarshalCam

Let this be a start of a beautiful thing… and be sure to check out all our social media outlets to watch some awesome videos of real marshals sharing their enthusiasm towards this hobby.

marshal cam

If you are wondering why MarshalCam.com links to a page on MyRoadTrip.net, click here to read more about all the domain names that live on Grand Prix Road Trip, there’s quite a few of them.

twitter marshalcam

Marshal Cam Patches arrived from Hong Kong

UPDATE (8/2015): New #MarshalCam patches arrived from HK

To celebrate 100 Likes on the Marshal Cam facebook page: www.facebook.com/MarshalCam I am giving away patches FREE of charge to anyone that submits their Marshal Cam Questionnaire video. Pretty sweet deal for a patch collector. My first batch of 100 patches arrived from Hong Kong this morning, and I’ve already got a few envelopes going out to contributors in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

What’s the idea behind Marshal Cam?

I always wanted to promote what we do as marshals through social media. But doing so always got me in trouble, particularly posting photos I took at major events like F1 or ALMS, often times weeks after I took the photos discreetly while marshaling.

So to avoid any copyright rules imposed by the series or the track where we marshal, but to still have a voice, I devoted the idea of Marshal Cam to the actual marshals. Not the racing vehicles or the famous drivers, but the ordinary marshals I’ve met and worked with around the world that talk about why they volunteer, and how others can get involved. The videos are simple, and shot at the luxury of one’s home or office using a web cam or a cell phone camera. People share their raw footage via Drop Box and I edit it to upload to Facebook and YouTube. The result is exposure to marshaling as a hobby worldwide, through popular social media channels that are open to the general public.

Any automotive or motorsport enthusiast should consider volunteering. I would have started much earlier had I known it was possible. Marshal Cam idea spreads the word organically.

So contribute please, and get a nifty new patch for it!

marshal cam

For comparison purposes to see how it matches your other patches:

marshal cam 1

marshal cam 2